The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Opinion pieces

Smoke-free spaces in Africa growing at a snail’s pace

Opinion article by Tih A. Ntiabang

When South African officials slapped a total ban on smoking in all stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, many of us started hoping against all hope that one day Africa would succeed in its struggle to go smoke-free.

While the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) commits Parties to protect their citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor public places, workplaces and public transport, very few sub-Saharan African countries have enacted stringent policies to do this.

World No Tobacco Day 2011 opinion

This year WNTD is focussing on the FCTC.By FCA Director Laurent Huber
May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD 2011). This year’s topic, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is very timely because of the current economic and political environment.  

If you are a member of the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), then you may have already seen the famous World Health Organization (WHO) slide that proudly states the “FCTC is one of the most rapidly embraced UN treaties”.  If you haven’t seen this slide, take heart in knowing that the treaty, which focuses exclusively on curbing the tobacco epidemic, has been globally embraced.

Brave new Tobacco Plan for England

South West ASH demonstrates outside the HQ of Imperial Tobacco PLC, No Smoking Day 2010, © South West ASH/ Mark SimmonsOpinion article by Deborah Arnott

No Smoking Day in England on 9 March saw the launch of Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England. It is a strong document, but will face many challenges – including opposition from the tobacco industry and very high targets for reducing prevalence – before it can be declared a success.

Despite a vociferous campaign by tobacco retailers, largely instigated and funded by tobacco manufacturers, the Government confirmed that legislation to put tobacco out of sight in shops would go ahead.

Civil society and a smoke-free Buenos Aires

Opinion article by Veronica Schoj

Late last year the City Council of Buenos Aires, Argentina, announced that every indoor work and public place would be smoke-free within a year. This is a great achievement and one that civil society played a crucial role in helping bring about.

This new smoke-free law will make a significant contribution to protecting people’s health by creating safer work environments and eliminating designated smoking areas (DSAs), which were contemplated in the previous law.

Canada reverses warnings decision

Canadian smoking warning label.

Opinion piece by Melodie Tilson

In 2001 Canada set a global precedent, becoming the first country to mandate picture-based tobacco package warnings. Fast forward 10 years and the original set of 16 graphic warnings remains on cigarette packs, so stale as to be rendered invisible to many smokers.

What’s worse, last September the Canadian Minister of Health announced to her provincial/territorial counterparts in a closed meeting that the government would not be proceeding with refreshed warnings.